Erich Steffensen, Special Programs Manager at the Animal Farm Foundation in Amenia, NY, is the guest for this RadioRotary Program. The Animal Farm Foundation, although it does run an actual farm with rescue farm animals, is primary concerned with dogs—especially dogs that have been called “pit bulls” because of square-shaped heads and bulky bodies, although these are generally of no recognized breed (originally their ancestors were a cross between bulldogs and terriers, but other breeds have joined the mix over the years). One of the goals of the Foundation is to help erase the bad reputation of pit bulls for aggressive behavior. The other goal is to train shelter dogs—primarily pit bulls—for three different types of service: true service dogs, narcotic-recognizing dogs, and family pets. An early part of this training is conducted by prisoners at Riker’s Island, the “Paws of Purpose” program where the dogs go from shelters to 8 weeks at the prison. Formal training for narcotics-sniffers is conducted at a site in Texas; then the trained dogs are donated to police around the nation. Service dogs, including those who aid the hearing and mobility impaired (but not seeing-eye dogs), are trained at the farm in Amenia. All the programs are free to those who adopt the dogs, whether police who take K-9 dogs, mobility or hearing impaired persons needing help, or families that just want a friendly animal. Listen to the program and learn fascinating details about how trained dogs can solve problems and even save lives.
Animal Farm Foundation: mailto:https://animalfarmfoundation.org/
Service Dogs: mailto:https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/service-dog-training-101/
Myths and Facts about Pit Bulls: mailto:https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/myths-and-facts-about-pit-bulls/
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